if you are going to go to Italy, understand quickly that this is the fashion capital of the world! And they really mean it.
Someone suggested to me the following tips and I'll pass these tips on to you.
On the whole, Italians dress far nicer than most of America. They are very fashion conscious. And if you show a bit of respect for their culture, they will most certainly treat you better. And being treated better is very important.
The nicer you look, the better table they will give you. The better the service will be and in general, the level of respect you will receive will be much much nicer.
This doesn't mean everything has to be super expensive, but looking well put together represents you and our country better.
Also, the more you fit in, the less you will be hounded by pick pockets and street beggars as they won't so much think of you as a tourist right off the bat. and that's a good thing!
Almost no man wears short sleeves. Even in the summer an Italian would prefer to roll up their sleeves than where a short sleeved shirt. Almost all men wear shirts with a collar, slacks and nice and usually black shoes. If you are a man and you are wearing a decent button up shirt that fits well, some comfortable black slacks and black slips on's or lace up's, you'll fit in fine. In the evening you may want to add a nice jacket to this. If the weather permits a nice jacket all day is fine and will also give you a place to hide your money in an inside pocket. And i'm talking about a blazer here.
If you are a kid (16 to 24) you could probably get away with some very nice jeans as long as they are fashionable and a trendy t shirt and belt. Leave your white tennis shoes at home and addidas is KING.. don't ask me why, but the kids love them.
if you are a woman, dress up a little. Dresses, skirts and even suit like fashion is ok. The woman in Italy certainly over do it. Their hair, little makeup and clothes are always in taste and usually a bit risque. So if you have it in you, flaunt it a little. More mature woman in Italy dress accordingly with their age and they always stay very well Kept.
And of course it's very important that you stay comfortable, that's obvious, but do take some time before you go to shop a little so step off the plane feeling like you fit in. It's ok to act any more richer than you might be while you are there, it's actually fun even.
As far as Rome goes, the clothing stores are out of this world! I would actually suggest you have room to buy some clothes there. Anything you could eve need is right there.
Be sure to have comfy shoes but also shoes that look nice. Last time I went I found a pair of Bruno Magli slip on's that is the most amazing and comfortable shoe I've ever worn. Like a tennis shoe inside but super sharp on the outside and you would have never guessed. They were a tad expensive but for two weeks saved my feet and i love to wear them today still.
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Woman, you're on your own, but be comfy but nice. Most woman I saw wore these heels that made MY feet hurt.. tough one. And most of the streets are no where near level with cobble stone streets and holes all over them. They seem to navigate it amazingly, looked hard to me.
No sweats! No Sports shoes (unless you are about to play soccer)
No tank tops for men, my god no tank tops! And absolutely do not try to go into a church with bare shoulders or legs. Woman with nice shoulders can do the summer tank but men, forget it. and anyone going in a church should cover up.
no ill fitting clothes, no stupid t shirts, leave your nascar #3 hat at home.
If you have a very nice mono tone t shirt under a blazer, that's probably ok. Tuck it in and look well put together. Also, turtle necks in the winter look nice under a jacket as well.
No shorts for men if you can help it! You stand out like sore thumb. NO ONE wears shorts. Young girls do, but they usually opt for the very very short skirt instead... don't trip when your walking behind one, your wife will smack you!
Absolutely no shorts in the evening!
No flip flops unless you are at the beach
NO NO NO white socks under slacks. If you didn't know that already, you probably shouldn't go in the first place. Socks should blend in.
No short sleeved shirts, again especially in the evening. No tie is needed unless you are really going to a very nice restaurant or being entertained
Also, think subdued. Most Italians stick to the basic colors with almost no one wearing anything too flashy or bright. Maybe some very hip young single people, but even that's kind of rare.
And the woman LOVE their purses, so if you got a Fendi, pull it out, if you don't have one, buy one.. along with a nice pair of Versace sunglasses, you'll fit right in. The woman pride themselves on these things.
Be Stylish and be elegant and comfortable. It's easy to do if you just try a little.
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